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Snowmobile federation looking at a dozen repair projects for flood-damaged trails in Goose Arm area

This heavily washed-out section of road in the Island Pond area of Goose Arm was among the hardest hit as a result of flooding during a major rainstorm in January.
This heavily washed-out section of road in the Island Pond area of Goose Arm was among the hardest hit as a result of flooding during a major rainstorm this past January. - Contributed

It may be the middle of summer, but some people are thinking of being able to snowmobile through the Goose Arm area this winter.

That’s because there is still a lot of work to be done to fix up the trails in the region.

Goose Arm, considered to be roughly the entire area west of Deer Lake and north of Cox’s Cove to Gros Morne National Park was heavily hit by floodwaters in the extraordinary rainstorm that struck western Newfoundland in January.

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While some municipalities are still putting their infrastructure back together or keeping a close eye on areas still feeling the impacts, many of the trails used by snowmobilers and all-terrain vehicles sustained serious damages that have yet to be fully addressed.

Tony Sheppard, general manager of the Newfoundland and Labrador Snowmobile Federation, said there are around two dozen areas that require significant repairs.

The most significant piece of infrastructure is the bridge crossing Goose Arm Brook, a crucial connector from one side of the region to another. The roughly 30-foot span was washed out on both sides and needs a considerable amount of fill and armour stone before it can be used.

In the Island Pond area, one road has a washout measuring around 20-feet wide and between 12- and 14-feet deep stretching on for about half a kilometre.

In the Bottomless Pond area, where flooding continues to be a problem in the aftermath of both the January storm and the spring melt, nearly 1.5 kilometres of road is still under deep water.

“Then we have culvert after culvert after culvert that’s washed out,” said Sheppard.

The snowmobile federation has had the damages assessed and have requested quotes on how much it will cost to do 12 different repair projects.

“We’re still waiting for quotes and hoping, before winter comes, that we will have a lot of that put back together,” said Sheppard.

He said he has no idea how much it will all cost, but is expecting it to be a significant amount and funding sources are being sought.

In the Bottomless Pond area, Sheppard said the federation is looking at constructing a 2.5-kilometre bypass if the high water levels do not recede.

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